The smell of mango leaf

ZigmundMarch 9, 2013

Hi!
A nurseryman once told me that the smell of a mango tree's leaf can give you a hint of its flavor, and it can even help in identifying what cultivar a particular tree is because trees of the same cultivar supposedly smell alike and there is supposedly a distinction in smell among different cultivars.

I've tried it myself on some of my trees by pulling out a leaf and smelling of it where the leaf has broken off the stem. True enough, I thought to myself that each tree of differing cultivars smelled different. Some smelled more appetizing than others, and I noticed that one can actually relate the broken leaf's smell to the type of fruit. For instance, I could smell the tanginess or zest of a carabao mango from its leaf, while similarly I could smell the turpsiness from an indian mango tree which I know bears fruit with a somewhat tupentine flavor. Correspondingly, one Jin Huang mango tree which I personally think lacks in aroma and is a bit bland to my taste has a lack of leaf smell.

What do you experts think about this? Do the leaves really tell of the fruit flavor? Could smell be used to identify cultivar, of mystery trees in particular?

This is really interesting for me because I have a lot of monoembryonic seedlings which I am currently growing with the promise of getting a good seedling selection. If leaf smell really has anything to do with fruit flavor, then leaf smell can somehow help me predict which seedling to expect flavorful fruit from, and which ones I should just use as rootstock.

Any of your insights will be truly valued.

Thanks,
Zigmund

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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I am definite no expert but just wanted to comment that its an interesting theory. I only have a few mango trees planted so I won't be of any help...but for me I'm thinking by the time I smell my tenth mango leaf I think I will be so confused,lol...I wouldn't be able to tell any difference :o)

Good luck with your monoembryonic seedlings!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 10:11AM
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mangodog(palm springs 9B)

Hmmmm ziggy - that IS interesting....

Well, I will try it on my 15 or so varieties when I do the yard walk some time...I'm especially interested in how my Alphonso (Indian/turpentine tones) smells, cuz that tree looks like it's going to be a huge producer. Unfortunately i don't like that smell.....

It must be VERY subtle, though, the differences in smells...hope my nose is sensitive enough to distinguish, if your theory does indeed hold some water....

mangoARF

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 4:18PM
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Zigmund

Puglvr1 and Mangodog, thanks for your comments and sharing your insight.
Hope to hear from you as soon as you're able to have some chance observations on... ahh...the smell of mango leaf. I can quite imagine people plucking out & smelling leaves as a sign of being a true mango connosieur, once this heck of a theory is validated :-D

Thanks. I got my seedlings from the mangoes I ate in Singapore. I call them my Cold Storage/ Carrefour mango seedlings. Quite strangely, I have a tendency to value them more than my grafted varieties. They are shrouded with mystery and hold promise of something new. On the otherhand, they could be awful-tasting mangoes! So far they all smell good, so I hope the theory holds true.

Thanks!
Zig

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 2:46AM
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Zigmund

Puglvr1 and Mangodog, thanks for your comments and sharing your insight.
Hope to hear from you as soon as you're able to have some chance observations on... ahh...the smell of mango leaf. I can quite imagine people plucking out & smelling leaves as a sign of being a true mango connosieur, once this heck of a theory is validated :-D

Thanks. I got my seedlings from the mangoes I ate in Singapore. I call them my Cold Storage/ Carrefour mango seedlings. Quite strangely, I have a tendency to value them more than my grafted varieties. They are shrouded with mystery and hold promise of something new. On the otherhand, they could be awful-tasting mangoes! So far they all smell good, so I hope the theory holds true.

Thanks!
Zig

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 6:21AM
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